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Barnacle Bill
Senior Member

USA
987 Posts

Posted - December 13 2010 :  10:06:11 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
IIRC, Evan has mentioned carrying a Beretta PX4 Storm.

I'm looking for the low-down on these.

I have a first-generation HK USP-40 that I'm thinking of trading in. It is the original variant where it is DA/SA with a three-position safety/decocker (up = safe, mid = fire, bottom = decock & spring-return to mid). I'm no longer enthused with manual safeties or cocked & locked. I want to replace it with a .40 that is either DA/SA with decocker only, or something like the HK LEM, SIG DAK, etc...

The PX4 is a candidate. The "Type G" is apparently a decocker-only, while the "Type C" ("Constant Action") is the new Beretta answer to LEM/DAK. I like my Beretta 92FS (except I wish it was a G), and it is very reliable & accurate, so I'm favorably disposed towards Beretta.

The other leading candidate is an HK P30L in 40 SW. The HK weapon I want to trade has been fine, just my taste in controls has changed since I bought it (early-mid 1990's). I like my LEM-equiped P2000 357 Sig a lot, too. The P30L .40's are hard to find and a lot more expensive than the Berettas, though.

So, let's hear about folks' experiences with the PX4!

BobK
Advanced Member

USA
1980 Posts

Posted - December 13 2010 :  11:42:43 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Don't own one but I've shot several in 9 and 40.

Recoil is not an issue with these. The DA trigger is the best I've found on a DA/SA gun.

I'm not a DA/SA guy but if I were I would buy the PX4.

The caliber of the man counts more than the caliber of his gun.
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garrettwc
Senior Member

896 Posts

Posted - December 14 2010 :  08:21:01 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Not to knock the PX4, from what I've seen and heard from Evan they are good to go. But why don't you just have your USP upgraded. IIRC, the cost to convert it to DA only or LEM is just a matter of dropping in the right parts. Last time I saw a post about it on another forum it was less than $150 out the door with HK doing the work.

"Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready."
Teddy Roosevelt - San Francisco, CA, May 13, 1903
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Evan
Administrator

32445 Posts

Posted - December 14 2010 :  08:28:40 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
While I've had the occasional Brain Fart, the gun has never had a stoppage. If I had the money I'd get a PX4 Compact to carry as a 2nd gun. 17 rnds of DPX in the mag helps me sleep better at night.

"The greatest thing a Father can do for his children is to love their Mother."

Harold B. Lee

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Barnacle Bill
Senior Member

USA
987 Posts

Posted - December 14 2010 :  10:17:28 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by garrettwc

But why don't you just have your USP upgraded. IIRC, the cost to convert it to DA only or LEM is just a matter of dropping in the right parts. Last time I saw a post about it on another forum it was less than $150 out the door with HK doing the work.



I've considered it. My USP is a pretty early one and may not be convertable to LEM (I've read on HK fan sites that the early ones are not). Converting to V3 (DA/SA decocker-only) is probably possible but that conversion smells like "having the safety removed". I'm concerned about that from a liability standpoint (LEM is really conversion to a different system so that doesn't bother me that way).

The other down side to the USP is that it has really aggressive checkering on the grip that tends to chew my hands up without shooting gloves. They "fixed" that on later HK's (I use a P2000 in 357 Sig for carry), and although I haven't shot one the PX4 grip feels fine in the gun shops. I could get the USP worked over by one of the smiths specializing in grip alterations on polymer-frame pistols. However, it seems like less hassle to just trade the thing than ship it to HK for trigger system changes & someplace else for grip alteration.
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Barnacle Bill
Senior Member

USA
987 Posts

Posted - December 14 2010 :  10:36:24 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Another possible advantage of going with the PX4 is that they are apparently available in Beretta's new "Constant Action" (action type C). This is apparently Beretta's version of LEM/DAK. As noted, a P30L in .40 with LEM is vanishingly rare in the wild (apparently I'd be lucky to find one in DA/SA - apparently they sell out as fast as HK USA imports them).

I prefer this kind of action to DA/SA, as long as it isn't too light (I like LEM V2 and Glock NY1, but the stock Glock or S&W M&P feel too light). I haven't handled a type C yet, though - anybody ever try one or is it too new?
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spwenger
Advanced Member

USA
1014 Posts

Posted - December 14 2010 :  4:27:19 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Had I not preferred to continue buying pre-lock S&W revolvers, I would have used my armorer discount to purchase a C model PX-4 a few years back. For whatever it's worth, if you end up with an F model, an armorer can basically convert it to a G model by grinding off a hook on one of the parts. It's been three and a half years since I took the armorer course so I'd have to dig out my manual to see which part it is but I believe the hook in question is on the hammer.

Stephen P. Wenger

Firearm safety - it's a matter for education, not legislation.
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Greg
Average Member

310 Posts

Posted - December 14 2010 :  10:13:02 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I really like my PX4 9mm. It's accurate, DA/SA is OK, not hard to dress around in a OWB holster. Came with 3 seventeen round magazines and loading tool, night sights. Nice primary for ccw.
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gauchobill
Senior Member

721 Posts

Posted - December 23 2010 :  10:38:18 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have two PX4s in .40S&W sa/da and I like them. They manage recoil well even with +P+ loads although one of them occasionally fails to feed a government Winchester +P+ load in 165grHP which has scalloped edges around the leading edge of the HP. I like these handguns because they are comfortable, handle recoil well, and shoot all loads to a similar point of impact----something I like in any gun but which most guns show a variation in POI. I simply avoid carrying that particular one with the load that occasionally fails to chamber..
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Glenn
Advanced Member

USA
1075 Posts

Posted - December 23 2010 :  1:29:32 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well North Little Rock PD liked them enough that they went from G22/23's to the PX4 I believe theirs are the DAO variety the gun shops do good business selling them for CCW guns as the locals want to carry the same thing as the cops do personally I have fired one and while its accurate enough I prefer Glocks.

Semper Paratus
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Barnacle Bill
Senior Member

USA
987 Posts

Posted - January 25 2011 :  8:28:01 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well, I gave up on trying to get one with factory tritium sights & ordered a "C" without them from Bud's. It only comes with 2 mags, but I ordered a third from CDNN. Ordered Trijicon sights & a "Uni-Tool" to try installing them myself. Probably be weekend after next before everything is in hand & together, though.

On a related note, the latest issue of "Combat Handguns" has a (favorable) review of the PX4 Compact by one Dave Spaulding - is that the same one who posts here?
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Evan
Administrator

32445 Posts

Posted - January 25 2011 :  8:43:12 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes

"The greatest thing a Father can do for his children is to love their Mother."

Harold B. Lee

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Barnacle Bill
Senior Member

USA
987 Posts

Posted - January 25 2011 :  8:48:10 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Evan

Yes

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Evan
Administrator

32445 Posts

Posted - January 26 2011 :  08:59:42 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
yup

"The greatest thing a Father can do for his children is to love their Mother."

Harold B. Lee

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sheepdog
Average Member

368 Posts

Posted - January 26 2011 :  12:08:14 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
..does that pistol share its mags with their carbines???
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Barnacle Bill
Senior Member

USA
987 Posts

Posted - January 26 2011 :  1:50:03 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sheepdog

..does that pistol share its mags with their carbines???



The CX4 carbines are available with several different mag wells to match various Beretta handguns: 92-series in 9mm, PX4 in 9mm or .40 S&W, Cougar in .45 ACP.

Kinda tempting as a car rifle...
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sheepdog
Average Member

368 Posts

Posted - January 26 2011 :  2:14:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
...been droolin' after a .45 for a looong time...handled one at Beretta of Dallas and like everything about it...thanks for the info...
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Barnacle Bill
Senior Member

USA
987 Posts

Posted - February 04 2011 :  9:15:10 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Long story on getting it, but got it today. As soon as I got it home, I broke it down, ran a couple of dry patches through the barrel, wiped off the storage oil & lubed the bearing surfaces with my usual Tetra grease. It is very easy to disassemble. I didnít need to break out the manual, so Iíd call it pretty straight forward. Then it was off to the range.

But first, a look at it. The PX4 isnít as small as Iíd somehow expected. My Glock 32, with the same length barrel, is significantly more compact and only gives up 1 round in magazine capacity. Compared to my 92FS, the grip of the PX4 is thinner but the slide & upper frame do not appear to be so. This kind of surprises me, as I had read that the shift from the 92-style locking sytem the the Cougar/PX4 rotary system was about slimming down the width. Holding them side by side, chambers aligned, it looks to me like if you chopped a 92 off to the same barrel length as the PX4 theyíd be pretty much the same size all around. Maybe I need to hunt up one of those 92 Lís

Trigger pull is both heavier & considerably longer than my Glock 32 with the NY1 trigger. The Glock NY1 pull only gets heavy right at the end, to, while the Beretta C trigger is heavy for about 80% of the travel distance. In other words, your trigger finger gets a workout in a long shooting session. It is quite smooth, though. It is also noticeably heavier than my Kahr 9mm, but similar in length of pull. In fact, subjectively it feels pretty similar in both weight & length to the DA trigger pull on my S&W M625 revolver (bought used but to my knowledge the action is stock out of the box, not tuned). It may actually be heavier than the revolver. However, it is noticeably lighter than the DA trigger pull on my used German-police-trade-in Walther P5, and about the same as the DA trigger pull on my bone-stock 92FS. Iím wondering what a Type D would be like. Iíve also wondering if anybody does trigger jobs on these babiesÖ

OK, how did it shoot? Pretty good, with some caveats. I shot up one of those Remington UMC 250 round Megapacks of their 165gr FMJ. This stuff duplicates the ballistics of the Golden Saber 165gr load, in other words pretty hot. I havenít shot .40 S&W in a long time (~15 years), and except for putting 100 rounds of GS 165gr through a new gun to verify reliability was always shooting whatever was cheap at the local gun shop Ė probably pretty tame compared to this stuff. Anyway, right off the bat it seems to produce more recoil than I remember, probably on order with shooting .45 ACP 230gr at the typical military power through my 625 revolver Ė except I never shot 250 rounds in one session through the wheelgun.

With that context, I had a couple of FTF while shooting weak-hand-only someplace in the 3rd 50-rnd tray. I usually do my one-handed shooting first thing in a range session, and I think maybe I limp-wristed those from getting tired. I had another one in the fifth & last tray while shooting Weaver, and suspect the same thing. There were also a few times in the 5th, and maybe the 4th, where I has having trouble pulling the trigger far enough to fire & had to shift my grip. I chalk that up to too many rounds in the session + heavy recoil + heavy trigger + out of shape. I feel like I was doing push-ups all afternoon.

Accuracy was fine though. Heavy trigger or no, at various distances between 4 & 15 yards I shot the center out of two or three B27ís & had very few holes outside the 8 ring. Most out the outliers came from after I was tired & having trouble with the trigger, and a few from one mag I shot from a speed crouch that wasnít quite balanced & stable. The first two mags, single handed (one each hand) from 4 yards, all went inside the 9 ring.

The bottom line is that it is no where near as fun to shot as my 92, but it will get the job done for defense. I only own three mags for it, I canít imagine that a private citizen is going to need more than 43 rounds in an actual self-defense situation, and I shot about three times that number before hitting any ill effects from tiredness. I also think a three box session with it regularly might help satisfy my New Years resolution to get my 50+ bod back in shape .
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Barnacle Bill
Senior Member

USA
987 Posts

Posted - February 27 2011 :  6:51:45 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
OK, so I got it back from a trigger job & tritium nightsite install by David Olhasso. Now it feels about like my HK P2000 LEM V2, which is perfect to me.

Excluding a couple of 25-rnd boxes I bought last month, I had exactly 131 rounds of 165gr Golden Saber on hand left over from a time many moons ago when my duty home defense gun was an HK USP-40. The newest of that stuff was bought in 2005, and I don't know before that because that's about when I started writing the month & year of purchase on the box of "duty" type ammo. Some of that sat in the mags or even up the spout of the USP in its heyday, and the brass jacket on the some of bullets was un-shiney.

Where I shot there are two "practical pits" where you can pretty much do as you please with handguns, a formal 25/50 yard pistol range and a "plinking range" where anything goes (plus assorted other ranges not suited for defensive handguns). Usually both "practical pits" are vacant, but I lucked out (sarcasm) and found both occupied today. So was the formal range, with some guy shooting a scoped gun at 25 yards (I didn't want to shoot at that long a range, so although it had plenty of open positions I'd have needed it vacant so I could shoot forward of the official firing line). So, I ended up at the plinking range shooting assorted old plastic bottles & tin cans at about 10 yards more or less.

I found it very easy to hit these small informal targets, so there is no issue with accuracy. Once, someplace in the second set of 3 14-rnd mags, I had a FTF in which the slide stopped about 1/8" shy of closing the action (unfortuntely it seemed to take more effort to sort that out than with the typical pistol). The round involved was one of the non-shiny ones and may very well have been chambered a time or two in the USP.

So, the floor is open for opinions - don't worry about it, try again with fresh ammo, abandon this load & start over with something else, epic fail - consign the gun to "range only" or sell it?
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gauchobill
Senior Member

721 Posts

Posted - February 28 2011 :  5:07:58 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A stronger spring might eliminate the FTF; try a change in ammo. Sometimes a particular round doesn't feed as well; Sometimes polishing the ramp works wonders; sometimes a firmer grip is the answer. Sometimes you just don't know.
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XTrooper
Average Member

USA
268 Posts

Posted - March 03 2011 :  6:21:18 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yesterday I picked up a Px4 Storm Type F (DA/SA) Full-Size in .40 S&W with Trijicon night sights. I took it home, cleaned it up, and lubed it. I use Tetra grease on all the high friction areas. Today I took it to the range and put about 250 rounds through it including Winchester 180gr FMJ, Speer 155gr TMJ, Speer 180gr Gold Dot, and Remington 165gr Golden Saber which is my .40 S&W carry ammo of choice. The pistol was very accurate, felt recoil was mild, the trigger pull was impressively light and free of grit, and it was 100% reliable. It ate up everything, including the Golden Sabers, like they were candy!

These pistols have a reputation for reliability so I would either have Beretta take a look at it or I'd dump it. In any case, something is amiss with yours unless it's a magazine issue. Did you experience problems with all three mags or were the FTF's isolated to just one of them?

Steve: NJ State Trooper #3936 (retired 4/1/91)
Life Member: VFW, VVA, NRA
NRA-Certified Law Enforcement Firearms Instructor

Edited by - XTrooper on March 03 2011 6:25:09 PM
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Evan
Administrator

32445 Posts

Posted - March 03 2011 :  6:25:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
shoot it some more

"The greatest thing a Father can do for his children is to love their Mother."

Harold B. Lee

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Barnacle Bill
Senior Member

USA
987 Posts

Posted - March 04 2011 :  10:57:14 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by XTrooper

These pistols have a reputation for reliability so I would either have Beretta take a look at it or I'd dump it. In any case, something is amiss with yours unless it's a magazine issue. Did you experience problems with all three mags or were the FTF's isolated to just one of them?



There was only one single FTF in 131 rounds of GS fired in that range session. If it was choking all over the place I wouldn't be in a quandry. Not sure which of the three mags it happened on, but by the time it did they'd all shot through a full load without issue.

quote:
Originally posted by Evan

shoot it some more



I have some more GS on order.

From the standpoint of break-in, is it worth shooting some more ball first?
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Evan
Administrator

32445 Posts

Posted - March 04 2011 :  11:07:57 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
yes, but keep track of the loads that cause problems

"The greatest thing a Father can do for his children is to love their Mother."

Harold B. Lee

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XTrooper
Average Member

USA
268 Posts

Posted - March 04 2011 :  4:13:07 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Barnacle Bill

quote:
Originally posted by XTrooper

These pistols have a reputation for reliability so I would either have Beretta take a look at it or I'd dump it. In any case, something is amiss with yours unless it's a magazine issue. Did you experience problems with all three mags or were the FTF's isolated to just one of them?



There was only one single FTF in 131 rounds of GS fired in that range session. If it was choking all over the place I wouldn't be in a quandry. Not sure which of the three mags it happened on, but by the time it did they'd all shot through a full load without issue.

quote:
Originally posted by Evan

shoot it some more



I have some more GS on order.

From the standpoint of break-in, is it worth shooting some more ball first?



What Evan said. Also, I made a practice a long time ago of numbering my magazines with a little nail polish. This makes it easy to identify the occasional "problem child" and also helps when rotating your loaded magazines.

Steve: NJ State Trooper #3936 (retired 4/1/91)
Life Member: VFW, VVA, NRA
NRA-Certified Law Enforcement Firearms Instructor
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Barnacle Bill
Senior Member

USA
987 Posts

Posted - March 04 2011 :  5:47:36 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
When a gun acted up in the past I've numbered the mags before. Guess I need to on this one.

I picked up a mess of ball & I'll shoot through that before trying the GS again. Now if it would only quit raining...

As a fall-back to the GS, I'm thinking about the 165gr GD load at the same velocity (1150 fps, they apparently make a mv 165er, too). That one isn't in Book 3 - too new I guess. I can get it locally for $26/50, though. What kind of rep does this stuff have?
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